Email viruses and the nasty effects they may have on users are undoubtedly all too familiar to you, but do you know the catastrophic repercussions an infection could have on your business?

What Are Email Viruses
What Are Email Viruses

What Are Email Viruses? Email viruses are very common and have the potential to compromise sensitive data, destroy data, damage hardware, and consume a significant amount of time, resources, and energy.

2,000,000 to 5,000,000 attacks every day are brought on by user-downloaded malware. Several well-known viruses have caused billions of dollars worth of harm.

Since email viruses make up the majority of computer viruses, safeguarding your company against viruses, malware, and other dangerous threats requires a strong email security plan.

Due to the quick development of ransomware and other dangerous email assaults like zero-day flaws, typical antivirus software spam filters is no longer adequate to defend consumers from these risky and expensive attacks.

This technology must be used as a part of a proactive, fully supported cloud email security solution that offers thorough, real-time email vigilance in order to provide email protection that is effective.

Video: What Is an Email Virus?

Email Virus


The majority of computer viruses are email viruses, which are made up of malicious code that is distributed through email messages. An email virus can be activated by a user clicking on a link, downloading an email attachment, or interacting in some other way with the email’s body.

Once a victim’s computer has been infected, virus emails are typically set up to send to everyone in the victim’s address book, which causes them to spread swiftly.

What are Email Viruses?

Email viruses are pieces of malicious code sent via email with the intent of infecting the recipient’s computer. There are a number of ways in which the recipient of an email might unwittingly activate this malicious code, including by clicking on a link


Viruses are frequently associated with phishing attempts, in which threat malicious software actors send out phony emails pretending to be issued from legitimate sources in an effort to deceive recipients into disclosing important information.


These attacks frequently use covert social engineering methods to trick victims and affect their mentality.

Other assaults known for sending Microsoft outlook email viruses to systems and compromising networks include spam, ransomware, business email compromise (BEC), whaling, and ransomware.

Viruses can be contained in the email content itself or as an attachment in a malicious email. Some viruses just profit from users’ ignorance.

Have you ever distributed a chain letter, a malware alert, or a pleading need for assistance? If so, you most likely fell victim to a scam and distributed virus protection.

In these situations, the email contains the infection. When these emails are combined, they clutter up mailboxes and mail servers, frequently restricting access to legitimate users while the system deals with these bulk communications.



The wide variety of email viruses and the quick emergence of new zero-day viruses make email security in the current climate of digital danger even more difficult.

There are different email viruses with different levels of threat. Several of the most dangerous email virus varieties include:

  • Boot sector viruses are among the most harmful viruses that can exist for the majority of users. The master boot record is where these viruses spread, making them incredibly challenging to get rid of and frequently necessitating a complete system reformat.
  • One of the two primary types of viruses that infect files is one that takes anti-virus software direct action. These viruses don’t hide in a computer’s memory or install themselves; instead, they spread through files that they attach to. The associated virus is activated and spreads when a user clicks on an infected file. Despite making files unavailable, direct-action viruses have no negative effects on a system’s performance.
  • Direct action viruses and resident viruses both infect files. But this particular malware sets itself up on a computer. These viruses are particularly hazardous because they can survive even when the virus’s main source is eliminated.
  • Multipartite viruses: Depending on numerous elements, such as the operating system of a PC, this sort of virus can propagate in different ways and behave in diverse ways. These viruses can spread very quickly and are thus highly challenging to get rid of because they can infect both the boot sector and files on a computer.
  • Keyloggers: A keylogger is a type of spyware that, once installed on a device, enables a malicious actor to monitor and record the keys that a user presses on the keyboard, recording information that is typed, including usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, personal and financial information, PIN codes and account numbers, and other sensitive information, all without the user’s knowledge. It is possible to perpetrate fraud or identity theft using this information.
  • Polymorphic viruses: When a virus reproduces, it alters its signature to look like a different, seemingly benign file. These infections pose a particular concern since antivirus software has an extremely difficult time identifying them. Numerous programs require months to locate a single polymorphic infection because conventional antivirus software can only blacklist a single pathogen type.

Avoiding Patterns And Polymorphic Viruses

Polymorphic viruses are ones that contain programming that alters their behavior, making them immune to traditional methods of detection. These sophisticated and very lethal viruses use a variety of strategies to change during each infection.

Polymorphic Viruses
Polymorphic Viruses

Each time they infect a device, they use different encryption keys produced by mutation engines to encrypt their codes and change the actual file makeup of the infected object.

Most polymorphic viruses can avoid detection using this method since antivirus software is designed to detect a static, unchanging code.

Malware, spam emails, and infected websites are the most common ways that polymorphic viruses are distributed. One of the most infamous polymorphic viruses, VIRLOCK, evolved to combine ransomware and file infection, making it very challenging to find and eliminate.



Computer virus detection techniques have improved as they’ve become more of an issue. Antivirus software uses a variety of techniques to find viruses, malware, and other risks to computers. These techniques consist of:

  • Signature-based detection: To detect viruses and malware, traditional antivirus software largely relies on signature-based detection. In this procedure, a signature of the file is extracted and added to the antivirus software’s signatures database every time a new malware variant is found and gets into the hands of an antivirus business. This strategy has certain drawbacks because malicious actors have developed sophisticated viruses that alter themselves in order to escape being recognized by antivirus programs that use signature-based detection.
  • Heuristics: By looking for suspicious qualities in the code, heuristic analysis is a well-liked and reliable technique for identifying newly discovered viruses as well as new variations of viruses that have already been discovered in the wild. This method uses a variety of weighting techniques or decision rules to assess a system’s vulnerability to a certain threat. One of the few techniques that can discover polymorphic viruses is heuristics analysis.

Real-time protection is the automatic monitoring of systems for suspicious activity that is offered by many antivirus and anti-malware solutions.

This behavior-based detection method uses a virtual environment to run programs while logging their behaviors and actions. Antivirus engines that use this method can detect whether the software is malicious or not based on the behaviors logged. Despite its high effectiveness and slowness, this method is rarely applied in end-user antivirus programs.

Data mining techniques are employed in this relatively new method of detecting viruses and malware to categorize a file’s activity and decide whether it is harmful or benign based on a number of features that are extracted from the file.

Antivirus software has limits, regardless of the methods, it uses to find viruses and other dangers. For instance, zero-day viruses are frequently difficult to detect by antivirus software.

Even those that don’t rely on signatures frequently fail. Before releasing new viruses into the wild, virus creators test them on well-known antivirus programs to make sure they won’t be discovered.

What Is Antivirus Software? ( Best Explained)


In order to protect yourself and your business from infection, it is crucial to apply fundamental email security best practices as well as learn how to identify email viruses. Here are some pointers for spotting viruses and shielding yourself from infection:

  • Avoid clicking on links included in email messages.
  • Avoid opening email attachments that may be harmful and are sent by unknown senders.
  • Virus-check all attachments
  • Watch out for phishing emails and consider the consequences of clicking a phishing link.
  • Maintain updated and patched versions of your operating system, web browser, and mail client.
  • Do not open any executable files that are attached to emails since attackers frequently give these files two extensions to hide them.
  • Make sure that the automatic download and opening of attachments and the display of HTML information are not enabled in your mail application.
  • Anytime you receive a strange email, check its origin.
  • If you haven’t confirmed that emails are real, refrain from forwarding them.
  • When disclosing your email address, exercise caution because it could be used to send you a convincing email that contains a virus if it falls into the wrong hands.
  • In your email service, receive a text preview – Without having to click on the email, content previews allow you to quickly scan its contents.
  • Instead of clicking the “X” in the corner to dismiss pop-up adverts, right-click on them in the taskbar.
  • Use a thorough, fully managed cloud email security solution to provide you with total end-to-end control over your email.
  • Never forget to “act wisely, not fast”!


Antivirus software is crucial for preventing email infections, but to properly thwart sophisticated attacks, this technology must be integrated into a comprehensive, multi-layered cloud email security solution.


The key to a good email security strategy is defense in depth. Antivirus software and security features alone cannot defend against the complex email threats of today, such as spear phishing, ransomware, and zero-day assaults.

Search for a cloud email security solution that consists of many layers of defense that work together to effectively identify and stop advanced and emerging threats in real time, preventing the potential harm and significant inconvenience that email viruses or other malicious threats can cause.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can a virus spread in an email?

The majority of viruses, Trojan horses, and worms start when you open an email attachment or click on one of its links. If your email client supports scripting, then opening an email could expose you to a virus.

Can an email address be affected by a virus?

As a result, an email virus can spread to everyone in the victim’s address book as well as machines connected to the same network, in addition to the victim’s own computer. A computer and email account of a victim can become infected by an email virus in one of three ways: through a phishing email, in an attachment, etc.

Which type of virus usually enters a computer through email?

A program with an appealing name that is attached to an email message is known as an attachment virus. It makes the appearance of being a picture or movie that you may view immediately away. The most prevalent kind of virus is this one.

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